Wednesday, November 16, 2005
JUDGEMENT OF PARIS - A NIGHT TO REMEMBER
A GREAT HOLIDAY GIFT!!!
(DOMINIQUE, GET THE HINT?)
Judgement of Paris by George M. Tabor, is an exceptional telling of the fateful tasting in Paris in 1976, when the French put their best wines up against their American up-start cousins, and in a blind tasting, lost to a handul of American viticultural visionaries. Best wine story of the year! This is a perfect gift lovers everywhere. Open a bottle of French or Californian wine, and relive a little bit of history.
From Publishers Weekly
In 1976, a Paris wine shop arranged a tasting as a gimmick to introduce some California wines; the judges, of course, were all French and militantly chauvinistic. Only one journalist bothered to attend, a Time correspondent, looking for a possible American angle. The story he got turned out to be a sensation. In both red and white blind tastings, an American wine won handily: a 1973 Stag's Leap cabernet and a 1973 Chateau Montelena chardonnay. When the story was published the following week, it stunned both the complacent French and fledgling American wine industries—and things have never been the same since. Taber, the Time man, has fashioned an entertaining, informative book around this event. Following a brisk history of the French-dominated European wine trade with a more detailed look at the less familiar American effort, he focuses on the two winning wineries, both of which provide him with lively tales of colorful amateurs and immigrants making good, partly through willingness to experiment with new techniques. While the outrage of some of the judges is funny, this is a serious business book, too, sure to be required reading for American vintners and oenophiles. Photos.
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
In 1976, a Paris-based British wine merchant, Steven Spurrier, organized a blind tasting of California and French wines in honor of the bicentennial of the American Revolution. With labels hidden from view, French wine experts in attendance at Spurrier's event pronounced the California wines generally superior to those from France. Some judges professed to be unable even to discern which wines were French and which American. Media reports of this tasting sent shockwaves throughout the wine world. Thirty years after the event, this seems very old news, but at the time it marked an absolute revolution in taste and in expectations. California's wine industry took off, commanding ever-higher prices and attracting even more talent. French wineries were forced to innovate and find better ways to market their formerly unrivalled bottlings. Taber expands on the events leading up to this celebrated event with a readable, concise history of wine making in America, recounting the long journey from sweet, sacramental concord grape wines to today's range of sophisticated offerings. Mark Knoblauch
Copyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved
"Here's the inside tale of the dramatic tasting session that transformed the wine industry. George Taber was the only reporter there, and he tells the tale with the same authority, depth and clarity of the American wines that won. His tale has fascinating characters, great locales, and a fine bouquet."
-- Walter Isaacson, author of Benjamin Franklin
"For those of us who were lucky enough to be part of the fun at Steven Spurrier's wine shop in Paris, this book is a trip down memory lane. For everyone else, Taber brings the event to life brilliantly with insightful portraits and a reporter's eye for telling detail."
-- Don and Petie Kladstrup, authors of Wine & War
"Nearly thirty years later, Taber's book outlines an historic event that is relevant, captivating and compelling -- even for non-wine aficionados. The petty wine war that the Paris Tasting set off had one big winner: good wine. And one big loser: good wine...from France."
-- Christian Vannequé, Former chief sommelier at the Tour d'Argent restaurant in Paris and one of the judges at the Paris Tasting
"George Taber was alone among journalists to attend the wine world's Declaration of Independence from French supremacy. He tells the story of the California wine revolution with verve showing how the upstarts managed to surprise the complacent French. This is a rare book about wine to be sipped, not gulped."
-- William Echikson, author of Noble Rot
"The Judgment of Paris is a fascinating recounting of that historic event that was like a lightning rod to the budding wine scene in California. It is a must read for anyone interested in wine."
-- Daniel Johnnes, Wine Director Montrachet and President Daniel Johnnes Wines